In an extraordinary display of coordination, tenacity and teamwork, the attorneys from Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske recently closed on a $75 million deal, consisting of more than 90% of the units in the Seashore Club South Condominium. After years of litigation and negotiation, Weiss Serota Helfman attorneys Joshua Krut, Chair of the Community Association, Club & Resort Practice Group, Joseph Hernandez, Chair of the Real Estate Practice Group and Michael Popok, partner-in-charge of the Miami-Dade office and former Chair of the Litigation Division, completed the transaction.
The Seashore Club South Condo Association, located in Sunny Isles, is one of the many condominium association to which Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske provides outside general counsel representation. The Association contacted the firm requesting to be sold. When a potential buyer came along, a right of first refusal was exercised, launching the first lawsuit. The claim was that the value of the condo was too high and not a bona fide offer. The suit was ultimately settled and the process of buying the condo for future development continued. Next, the “Plan of Termination” – whereby the association must sell all its units –was challenged. A handful of dissident owners either did not want to sell or wanted a significantly higher sum, which was already four times market value.
What came to pass was a method to purchase each condo unit individually, which soon gained momentum, while the firm continued to provide counsel to the board throughout the transaction, advising them on corporate governance, internal issues, and presiding over frequent meetings of 170 unit owners.
Through resolving litigation, handling on-going condo issues and working the real estate transaction elements, the result was in excess of $75 million, one of the largest transactions in the area. Each unit owner pocketed more than $478,000 – a huge windfall for the owners, many of whom were senior citizens, immigrants to the country, and of modest means.
The law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Bonsike, in conjunction with its attorneys, was uniquely positioned to handle the challenges in this transaction.